This summer I took an adventure I would have never expected I would do. I signed up for a 5 day Yoga Nidra Retreat at Esalen Institute. If you are like me, I wasn’t aware of the Esalen Institute until a friend told me he was attending a Yoga Retreat. Being new to Yogi (since January of 2019), I was still learning so much. I immediately looked into Esalen Institute and decided to sign up for a Yoga Nidra retreat (another thing I wasn’t familiar with but thought sure, I’ll enjoy 5 days of Yoga now that I’m a self-proclaimed “yogi). See more of this amazing personal development journey below and learn why I suggest YOU plan a getaway to Esalen Insitute to recharge your mind, body, and self.
The stunning coastal drive to Esalen Institute. I could not have wished for a more perfect day with lovely weather.
It is days like this driving along the California Coast on Highway one that I LOVE living in California. It’s hard to imagine living anywhere else with all the stunning scenery we have, fabulous destinations to see and of course wine country (my all-time favorite aspect of California!).
I mean… these views are beyond perfect!
I have arrived to Esalen Institute! So excited for the next five days ahead.
Pulling in to check into Esalen Institute. I really have no idea what to imagine will happen in the next five days!
Views of the Esalen Institute garden. Most of the food guests enjoy during a visit is grown on-site by team members and also guests at Esalen.
These are views of the Baths (this is as close as I can take pictures). It’s on the edge of the Esalen Institute and pretty hard to believe this is where the majority of guests at Esalen Institute go to relax, unwind with the most picturesque views of the California Coast. Did I mention the baths are all NUDE?! So you’re sitting outside in a one-foot deep hot tub nude with other guests. Pretty outside my comfort zone but would you believe me if I told you I did it?!
Views of the massage table at the Esalen Institute Spa. I enjoyed an 80 minute Spa (TBC that’s what I did).
Sunset views from the main dining room of the stunning oceanfront.
Me and a few of my pals on a hike during our free time. Depending on the program you attend you have a set schedule ours was 9:15 am – 12:45 pm daily then lunch and a break then resume 4 pm – 6:30 pm (or so). I would suggest taking advantage of these breaks and exploring the property. I did a hike one day, took another day to relax and enjoy the pool overlooking the ocean, and a third day we left the property and explored (which you’ll see below).
One evening I suggest you venture off-site for the most magical sunset views at Nepenthe (approx a 15-20 minute drive from Esalen). Go early during the trip in case you like it so much you want to return (which you will!).
Morning views of the gorgeous coast. It really is magical each and every day at Esalen. This was a morning that I got up early for a meditation class (at 7 am which is very early for me). It was a beyond gorgeous day out and this was just another perfect, relaxing day at Esalen. You feel so removed from the world here it allows you to achieve whatever personal goals you wanted. I wanted to unwind, try some new things and emotionally connect with myself in a deeper way than I typically do.
I would say I feel that those goals were accomplished more than I could have hoped for! I don’t want to share much about the programming as part of the experience is being surprised and discovering what Esalen is upon arrival but if you’re thinking about going I would say GO. And feel free to email me if you want to get more questions answered I just don’t want to give away too much for those that want to be surprised (as I did).
One afternoon during break time the weather was so perfect I decided to relax by the pool for a few hours. Note this is a clothing-optional pool (I was the only one in my swimsuit) but it was still beyond relaxing and heavenly.
This was my afternoon view from the pool!
For our last afternoon break, I went on a little road trip adventure with some new friends. We drove about 15 minutes South grabbed a beer at Lucia Lodge then went to a super stunning church (on the top of a hilltop) with the most picturesque 360 views of the area (see more below).
Cheers to this group of adventurers. Thanks for including me in this fun offsite excursion.
This was the view from the top of the church we drove to. I literally felt above the cloud line in heaven!
This pretty much sums up how I felt about my 5 days at Esalen Institute.
Hanging with the ladies by the pool on our last night at Esalen. As you’ll see behind above, some of the staff were performing and we were all just relaxing and hanging out.
On our last night, we had the most amazing time relaxing by the fire pit and Mattie sang to the group. It was moments like this getting to know new friends in this adult camp-style environment that made this trip so special.
Whale watching on my last morning at Esalen. How fitting on my last day I got to enjoy a cup of coffee with whales in the background. Esalen really is a heavenly place I suggest anyone wanting to relax, getaway, and spend some time on self-discovery visit.
Thank you to our fearless leaders, Renu & John who lead our 11 Yoga Nidra sessions. Your team was fabulous and made this getaway to magical.